[This is a review of the Sleepy Hollow season 2 premiere. There will be SPOILERS.]
Sleepy Hollow made its supernatural presence known last fall, as one of the most highly-rated new series from Fox. Nicole Beharie (Abbie) and Tom Mison (Ichabod) established a chemistry rarely found on any television series, while creators/executive producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Into Darkness) developed a fantastical world worth losing oneself in every week. This show conquered the impossible beautifully and with that success, earned the right to have another season.
In 2014, Sleepy Hollow now has fifteen hours (13 last year) to ramp up its spellbinding tale about the headless horseman and his fellow brothers trying to bring about the apocalypse. While more time with these unique characters is always welcome, adding on more episodes can sometimes impede the story's progression, instead of bringing it to life (a la AMC's ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead). For now, the showrunners have earned our trust, so we will just have to let their talented minds guide us to the end of the world.
This week's premiere, entitled 'This is War,' does a brilliant job of bringing us back up to speed on the events of last season's thrilling finale. Beharie and Mison haven't lost a step as the two witnesses foretold of in the Book of Revelation. Their on-screen rapport continues its magnetizing pull and is still the number one reason to watch this show. Their relationship dynamics, like Mulder and Scully on The X-Files, will always be a topic of debate - but for now, it appears that the writers are trying to establish a brother/sister type bond, since Ichabod is still technically married to Katrina.
Jenny Mills, played by the lovely Lyndie Greenwood is now a series regular and effortlessly fits into this wacky family. John Cho's return as the tormented Andy Brooks was another welcomed sight. There's no telling how much will see of the former deputy, but it's nice to see the series retaining most of their leading actors. Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) was probably the most notable absence from the premiere. At the end of the season one finale, Irving had turned himself in to the police in order to save his daughter from a murder charge. The Captain's story was the weakest and most disconnected of the bunch, so hopefully he'll have more to do with the rest of our leading cast as season 2 progresses.
John Noble's (Fringe) return as Ichabod's son and the Horseman of War/Sin Eater bodes well for this second season, since the Australian-born actor is one of the best in the business. So far, Sleepy Hollow season 2 is making all the right moves in setting itself up; Moloch may have lost the "opening salvo" as Ichabod phrased it, but it's surely not the last time we'll see him, as the demon looks to begin his reign on earth. Henry has a new toy to play with as well. The dark figure emerging from a fiery stone wall was a nice bit of imagery, which is one of the series' many strengths. Who is this new menace?
Let's not forget about poor Katrina, who is now under the guard of the Headless Horseman - also known as Abraham Van Brunt (Neil Jackson). The Horseman's use of trickery to give himself a face and a voice was a great way to connect to this bringer of death. The best villains are always the ones with the most moral complexities - just being "pure evil" isn't what it once was. Now the Horseman is an actual character; not just a tool of fright and mayhem.
Thankfully, Sleepy Hollow is off to the same pulse-pounding thrill ride of a start it was last year - and with the war beginning in earnest, what do you think our heroes are in store for in the coming weeks? Did the premiere deliver what you expected? Keep watching to see what happens next.
Sleepy Hollow continues next week with 'The Kindred' next Monday @9pm on Fox. Check out a preview below: